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Common Electrical Problems

By Springdale Electrician,

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA teaching you about common electrical problems.

Don’t Be Defeated by Common Electrical Problems.

We are indeed living in interesting times. You may be among so many right now who are feeling constrained at home. Like many others, perhaps you have more persons at home all at the same time and suddenly recognize the expense is getting away from you, especially when electrical problems impact the electric bill.

If those pesky home electrical problems are now presenting you with even more challenges, given the increased usage, it could help to run down a few of the common issues to consider. Some are quite easy to tackle on your own with little professional skill. Others are more dangerous and could be the indicator for you to consult with a technical expert.

One of the most common reasons people overtax their electrical system incorrectly is directly the result of not knowing how specific circuits work. It is often too easy to plug in a new device with little concern for what the demand is doing to the whole system, at least until the electrical bill shows up. However, this is typically not your first sign of electrical problems, as we will show you here:

Common Residential Electrical Problems

It is important to preface anything expressed here with the caution for safety. DIY projects are excellent for most home projects. When it comes to electrical problems, however, mistakes can be more costly, and that cost can be more than that of materials. With that said, let us look at some of the more harmless issues before we cover the more hazardous ones.

Loose or Useless Outlet Plugs

A photo of Mister Sparky Electrician NWA repairing a broken electrical outlet.

If you have outlets that no longer provide power or that are loose, start at the breaker panel. Sometimes an outlet that is not giving power may have tripped the breaker. Check to see if any breakers are in the” OFF” position and reset them. Then, you can return to the outlet and see if it is working. Just be sure the item you use to test is also functional.

If the outlet is still powerless, it may be a matter of loose wiring. If you are uncomfortable checking this yourself, make a call to your local Mister Sparky to come out and check it. Before you unscrew the faceplate, make sure you have the breaker switched to the OFF position.

Once unscrewed, you can pull the outlet a few inches from the box. Check to see the outlet screws securely fasten the wires. If any of the wires have come loose, reattach with black to the gold screw, white to the silver screw. Then reattach the copper or green wire attached to the bottom of the outlet.

Do not underestimate the possibility that the outlet may be bad and need replacing, although this is rare. A loose box can be secured with shims to prevent movement that tends to cause wires to come loose. If you have performed all these checks and still have a dead outlet, it is time to call Mister Sparky.

Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping

You may have reset a breaker only to find it keeps tripping. Tripping is a result of high wattage use, such as a microwave or a blow dryer. Thie issue is more typical when turning on items while using other power. Using multiple sources has to do with overloading one circuit that not designed to provide that much power.

A tripping breaker is also why we don’t advise using power strips with multiple outlets for a single circuit, for instance, in a bedroom. All the outlets for a bedroom may be on the same circuit. When you increase the number of plugs into it, you can overload that circuit.

This is one of the most common electrical problems as people have many more devices today than the way houses are set up. This also points to another of today’s issues: Too many appliances plugged in at the ready, such as phone chargers that continue to draw power even though you consider them not in use.

Electrical Shocks, Surges or Fluctuations in Power

Most of us are aware of surge protectors in this computer age. Electrical surges can be the result of lightning strikes or damaged power lines. Faulty appliances or bad wiring that you may not be aware of may also cause surges.

Power can also sag or dip due to a faulty power grid in the home. These fluctuations may cause more energy to surge through the lines when activated. This is precisely the kind of problem you want to call Mister Sparky out to check as an inspection could identify issues that need professionals.

Similarly, electrical shocks occurring when a device is either shut off or turned on is an indication of something more serious. Whether it is the appliance itself or the wiring, rather than risk a nasty shock, it is best to call Mister Sparky to check things out safely for you.

Light Bulbs that Need Frequent Replacement

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA showing you all the common electrical problems.Lights that often burn out are a sign of multiple possibilities, such as:

Bad wiring either on the circuit or the mains
Poorly placed insulation
Incompatible wattage
Poor connection
The bad primary neutral connection

This could be a light bulb that is designed to go out when it gets too hot, or it could be something more challenging. Isolating the root cause of any of these issues is a tricky proposition for the unskilled. To be safe and avoid injury, it is worth reaching out to your local Mister Sparky owned and operated by experienced, trained, and highly experts who live in your community.

Rather than risk it, you can “stay safe” by hiring an electrician from Mister Sparky who can come out and perform an inspection, pinpoint your issues and return your power to a safe and reliable condition. Even if you have moved into a previously owned home or made changes that may have compromised your circuits, the professionals from Mister Sparky will ensure your electrical problems are solved efficiently and effectively.

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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How To Buy A Home Standby Generator

By Springdale Electrician,

Always be ready with a home standby generator says Mister Sparky Electrician NWA

What you need to know about buying a Home Standby Generator.Mister Sparky Electrician NWA showing you the benefits of a home standby generator.

A home standby generator can overcome that problem and supply you with continuous power for days on end. The reason is that it has a direct connection to your home’s main electrical panel and powered by a separate fuel supply; natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel.

Okay, I realize some of you may have a portable generator sitting in the corner of the garage. Just waiting for the time to come when you have to pull it outside, fill up the gas tank, (if you have any spare gas that is), crank it up, hope it starts, and then plug in a few electrical extension cords to keep a couple of lights and maybe your TV running.

Wouldn’t life be more comfortable if you didn’t have to do anything, but sit back, relax, and get on with your day? A home standby generator makes this all a possibility.

Buying a Home Standby Generator

is simpler than you might think, and there are many reasons for making such an investment:

Safety

– There’s no messing with gas cans and spilling gas all over the place. Minimizing the risk of fire, CO poisoning, and electrical shocks.

Convenience

– Even if you are away from home, you can rest easy knowing that the power will be restored automatically to the essential circuits like A/C, refrigerator, alarm system, or even the whole house.

Value for Money

– The investment you make in a home standby generator will be worth it each time there is a power outage. No more spoiled food in the freezer—no more sitting in the dark, hunting for flashlights or candles, and no more wondering when the power is coming back on.

Three Steps in Selecting a Home Standby Generator.

1. Choose which fuel to use.

Before you buy a generator, you need to identify which fuel type you can use.

Standby generators rated up to 22kW will usually run on natural gas or liquid propane. If you can use diesel, then you would have to look toward purchasing a liquid-cooled whole-house generator, that would be a lot more expensive.

Liquid propane and diesel fuel both require tanks, either buried or placed above ground, to store enough fuel to run the generator properly. Natural gas-run generators require the gas meter and gas line to be the correct size.

2. Calculate Your Power Requirements.

Next, you need to calculate how much power to prepare for during a power outage, and if you require only the critical systems like air conditioning and refrigerators, or if you would like your whole house powered.

Generator Sizes.

If you plan on having your central A/C connected, then you will need a generator that will be able to handle it. For example, if you have a 3-ton air conditioner unit, it will require a standby generator that is 11kW or greater.

To give you an idea of the size of the generator that will be needed to handle the demand, let’s say you have a 2,500 sq. Ft. home and you want to connect the following items to the standby system:
• Central A/C
• Electric Water Heater
• 2 Refrigerators
• 2 Freezers
• Electric Stove/Oven
• Microwave
• Dishwasher
• Garage Door
• Electric Dryer
• 2 computers
• WiFi
• Security System
All the above would mean to power all these units and appliances; you will need a 22kW Standby Generator with an automatic Transfer Switch.

Of course, all the items in your home won’t be running at the same time during a power outage, but the strength of the Standby Generator will be enough for you to carry on as usual until regaining power.

3. Choose the Type of Transfer Switch.

Just as you need a switch to turn your light on, a generator needs a switch to know when to start doing its job.

An Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) senses when the power to your house has failed and immediately springs into action, powering up the generator. The switch continually monitors the utility power supply. If an outage is detected, along with starting the engine, it disconnects any power coming in from the grid, and electrifies your breaker panel via generator power.

Although the transfer switch does its job automatically, it isn’t instant. There will probably be a few seconds delay between the power going off and the generator powering up, but it is minimal. With restored power, the Automatic Transfer Switch will shut the generator down and reconnect your home to the power grid. The process is seamless, and the only way you know things are back to normal is if you can no longer hear the generator engine running or you go outside and see life coming back to normal.

The Power Is In Your Hands.A photo of a home standby generator installed by Mister Sparky Electrician NWA.

Now that you have an insight into just how easy it is to select and buy the correct home standby generator, you can have peace of mind knowing your house will have power when it all goes dark outside.

Please don’t make the mistake of waiting until there is a threat of a storm. You must factor in the time it takes to obtain the necessary permits, permissions, having your fuel tank placed above or under-ground, running a fuel line to the generator, and getting everything installed by a professional company.

 

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Coronavirus Update/Impact

By Springdale Electrician,

As the news about the Coronavirus continues to develop, we would like to communicate with you regarding this important issue.

The health and safety of our customers and employees is our greatest concern. That is why we have implemented procedures based on information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is a fast evolving issue and we encourage you to continuously refer to the website of the CDC for updates: www.cdc.gov.

We have instructed our employees to take these common-sense precautions:

• Stay home if they are sick.
• Greet others in ways other than hand-shaking.
• Minimize the risk of infection by conscientious hand-washing and sneezing/coughing into
a sleeve or tissue.

We have hung hand-washing posters throughout our offices to remind our employees of how important this simple procedure is. Our expectation from you, our customer, is that you inform us immediately if someone in your home becomes sick. If you feel you need to cancel your service appointment due to illness, please let us know and rest assured that we will welcome you back when you are ready. We encourage anyone with questions or concerns on this issue to contact our office directly.

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Why is My Doorbell Not Working?

By Springdale Electrician,

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA giving tips on why your doorbell not working.

Why is My Doorbell Not Working?

Some homeowners like to hear a bell choir whenever their front doorbell rings. Others want to listen to a familiar, lighthearted tune when someone is at their door. What homeowners don’t like is when they push the doorbell only to hear the sound of silence. Why is the doorbell not working? Check out some common issues that can cause a doorbell to remain silent when pressing its button.

The Button Won’t Depress CompletelyMister Sparky Electrician NWA tells you the failing signs of your doorbell not working.

One reason for a non-working doorbell is the button is not going down all the way when someone presses it. Sometimes spiders or other insects find their way inside a doorbell and build a nest just behind the button. The den can prevent the button from going down all the way, and the doorbell not working. Nests or other debris need to be thoroughly cleaned out of a doorbell casing so the button will go down all the way. A professional electrician can adjust the position of a doorbell making it difficult for insects to get behind it to build a nest.

The Button is Damaged or Worn Out

The button or bar on a doorbell can become worn out due to changing weather conditions and usage throughout the years. For instance, pieces of a plastic doorbell can crack or even break off. When a doorbell is not in one solid piece, it can malfunction and not trigger a sound inside the home. When a doorbell wears out and becomes damaged, it’s necessary to have a new one installed. A professional electrician can recommend a durable, attractive doorbell and install it properly for a homeowner. Having a quality doorbell chosen by an electrician who is familiar with a variety of brands can help you avoid a doorbell not working in the future.

The Wiring is Damaged

The wiring contained behind the casing of a doorbell can become damaged over the years, which can result in a doorbell not working. If the wires detach or tear apart, the signal won’t send inside the home to the chime box. In short, no sound will come out because the connection is not intact. This breakage can be caused by mice or insects that get at the wiring of a doorbell and chew it. Some rodents and insects can chew wires in half reasonably quickly. Also, an object hitting the wall near the doorbell can knock wiring loose, causing a disconnection. The installation must be intact and appropriately connected so the signal can travel into a home, causing the bell to ring.

An Issue with the Chime BoxChime box malfunctions can be why your doorbell not working says Mister Sparky Electrician NWA.

The chime box resides on the inside of a home. Often it’s somewhere near the front door such as in an entryway or even in a closet. A chime box has a decorative casing that relaeses to see the workings of the doorbell beneath it. Damage to the wiring inside the chime box can result in a doorbell that malfunctions. Even loose wiring can result in a doorbell not working. Dust and debris can gather on the wiring inside a chime box and cause issues as well. All wiring must be in good condition and solidly in place, so the connection experiences no interruptions upon activation outside the door.

A Malfunctioning Transformer

The transformer is located in the chime box and is sometimes the cause of a doorbell not working. If the voltage traveling into the transformer isn’t correct, it means the transformer is the issue. Sometimes the problem can be fixed with a repair or two instead of replacing the transformer. An experienced electrician will be able to determine if a transformer can be fixed or needs a whole new system for the doorbell to perform as it should.

Improper Installation

Some homeowners try to replace an old doorbell or install a new one from scratch.
Unfortunately, they may find that the doorbell doesn’t work correctly after all of their efforts. This task is best left to an expert electrician who is familiar with the wiring of a doorbell. Besides, though most doorbells operate on low voltage, it is risky for a non-electrician to repair or install a doorbell.

Lastly, when there’s a doorbell not working, it’s best to call in a professional electrician from Mister Sparky to check it out. An experienced electrician can diagnose the issue and get it fixed properly so that the doorbell will ring every time. A qualified electrician can also install a new doorbell in a safe, effective way. Contact Mister Sparky today and find a qualified, reliable electrician who can help you solve any issues you’re having with your doorbell.

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Everything You Need To Know About Home Security Lights

By Springdale Electrician,

Say safe with home security lights says Mister Sparky Electrician NWA

Everything You Need To Know About Home Security Lights

A dimly-lit exterior can be a bigger security liability than many homeowners realize. In addition to making a property a more attractive target for thieves, vandals and even home intruders, poor illumination also increases the risk of accidents and mishaps. Especially in inclement weather or during colder months when snow and ice are a concern. Exterior flood-lamps and area lights, motion-sensing lights, remote-operated smart lighting systems and other types of exterior home security lights can be a major asset when it comes to maintaining a safe and secure home.

Area Lighting Home Security Lights can be put on the perimeter of the home says Mister Sparky Electrician NWA

Flood lamps, landscaping lighting and other area lights serve a dual purpose. By illuminating the home’s surroundings, area lights make it more difficult for anyone who may be trespassing on the property to escape detection or approach closer to the home unseen. A bright, well-lit exterior also sends a clear message that the home is being maintained, that it is likely occupied and that the property owners have taken steps to create a secure environment. Area lighting and home security lights alone are often sufficient to persuade any potential thieves or home intruders to look elsewhere in search of an easier target.

Placing Lights and Fixtures

While area lights have an important role to play, not all home security lights and fixtures needs to be that powerful. Effective placement helps to ensure that even accent lighting can help to improve home security. Walkways, gates, entryways, garage doors and ground-floor windows that may serve as a potential point-of-access for home intruders are all areas where additional light fixtures may need to be installed. Proper placement for specific lights helps to ensure that any way to approach the home will remain brightly lit and clearly visible.

Perimeter Lighting

Comprehensive area and point-specific lighting can help to beef up security, but an exterior that is too brightly lit can make for a less comfortable household. Ringing the perimeter of the home can benefit both household safety and security while ensuring that light intrusion from the exterior home security lights is less likely to become an issue. Combining perimeter lighting with a few point-specific lights to help illuminate key areas like doors and walkways can allow homeowners to enjoy the best of both worlds. Exterior lighting that faces away from the home in order to illuminate the surrounding landscape is another way to deal with light intrusion.

Motion Sensors

Motion activated flood lamps and even point-specific lighting is often one of the most effective ways that home security lights may be used to beef up household security. Lights that are triggered by movement make it easy to reduce exterior illumination to more comfortable levels while still providing the illumination needed to stay safe. From providing plenty of light when approaching the home or taking out the trash to frightening away buglers and vandals, motion-activated light fixtures can be a key asset when it comes to addressing the most common safety issues or serious security concerns.

Smart Lighting

The ability to access, control and adjust both interior and exterior lighting through a mobile device is another handy feature with many potential security applications. Home and property owners can log into the system and adjust lighting before arriving home, to create the illusion that the home is still occupied when away or to provide additional lighting when investigating a potential security threat. Relying on outdated technology and conventional fixtures in order to secure the perimeter and protect the home could lead to many lost opportunities. Even motion sensors may not be able to provide the same level of convenience and performance that the latest smart fixtures and remote operated home security lights and lighting systems may be able to offer.

Investing in Quality Fixtures and Equipment

Home security lights that may be less than dependable, fixtures that are not rugged enough to withstand the elements and equipment options that may wear out or fail prematurely may prove to be nothing more than a wasted expense. Home security is an important concern and making an effort to seek out and select the lighting and equipment options that have more to offer is not a consideration that should be taken lightly. Quality lights, superior fixtures and professional equipment installation services may all be needed in order to ensure dependable performance and superior results.

Addressing Specific Security ConcernsDeal with potential looters with home security lights Mister Sparky Electrician NWA tells us.

Not every security lighting upgrade needs to involve a top-down system installation. Installing a single fixture may be all that is required in order to better address a specific security concern. Wiring and installing an exterior area light or point-specific fixture can allow homeowners to eliminate a blind spot, better illuminate high-traffic areas and exterior environments or to deal with specific issues like potential loiterers or teenagers who have a past history of trying to sneak out of the home at night. Investing in a more modest range of equipment options and installation services provides an affordable way to deal with any number of specific security concerns and situations.

Security Lighting Installation Services and Solutions

While upgrading an existing fixture can be simple enough, many property owners lack the tools and expertise needed to upgrade their existing lighting, install new fixtures or properly configure a smart lighting system or remote operated home security lights. Working with electricity can be dangerous, especially for those who lack the proper skills, tools or training. The services of a professional electrician can allow home and property owners to take advantage of a wider range of lighting equipment and security options without having to worry about damaging the equipment or injuring themselves during installation.

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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